West Seattle, Washington
As the Legislature wrapped up its regular session – which moved immediately into a special session – our area’s largest political organization convened a panel to review how social-equity policy legislation fared this year. That was part of the 34th District Democrats‘ March meeting last Wednesday at The Hall at Fauntleroy, and we recorded the panel on video. Attorney and 34th District precinct-committee officer Jamila Johnson moderated the discussion featuring (left to right in our video) Rachel Myers, executive director for the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance / Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund; Janet Chung, legal/legislative counsel from Legal Voice; and Doug Honig, communications director from the state branch of the ACLU.
This month’s 34th DDs meeting also was its last membership meeting before the March 26th caucuses in our state. A training session preceded the meeting; for those involved in the group, logistics were the big topic. If you’re planning to participate as a Democrat, here’s the info, and here’s where to go to find your caucus location. They start at 10 am on March 26th (which is a Saturday); this state-level guide explains how the process works.
(Our state is having a presidential primary on May 24th, but the Democrats are using the caucus process for their nominating-convention delegates, while the Republicans are using the primary for theirs.)
Friends and relatives are remembering Olga (Mitchell) McEwing, and wanted to share this with the community:
A long-time West Seattle resident, Olga McEwing died peacefully following a short illness on March 10, 2016, at age 96.
Olga was born on February 7, 1920. She emigrated to the United States from England with her parents Joshua and Ellen, and a younger brother, John, in 1927. She was a very generous person and cared a lot for others. She enjoyed music, gardening, and liked making the best pumpkin pies.
She was preceded in death by her husband James McEwing, 1919-1978.
Olga will be missed by The Kenney residents, the Schau and Matalone families, as well as many others, and will remain in our hearts forever.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
7:30 PM: Another round of brown-water reports tonight – we’ve heard from people in several areas we would generally describe as north West Seattle. The first thing we’ve advised, as always: Call Seattle Public Utilities‘ hotline at 206-386-1800. We have also contacted SPU’s communication team, and will update with whatever they find out is going on. (Also note: This is the SPU webpage with general advice about what to do if your water is discolored.)
(Added: Photo sent by Michelle)
8:24 PM: We’ve just talked with Andy Ryan from SPU. He says an SPU crew was using a hydrant in the 3200 block of Belvidere and that’s what stirred up the sediment in the lines. A water-quality inspector is following up on the reports the SPU hotline has received, but Ryan stresses that the water is safe to drink/use – but let it run as advised in the link we featured above.
P.S. Later this week, we’ll be publishing a report taking a closer look at how SPU monitors and tests drinking water, after a visit to its lab in SODO.
ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: SPU tells us today they had about a dozen calls last night and half a dozen this morning. (If you have NOT called and are seeing discolored water, please call them!) SPU’s Ryan says the crew that used the hydrant did not let the water run as long as they should have – until it’s clear – and so, “We will be doing more training to ensure our crews understand their responsibilities in this regard.”
No start date yet – but that two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure is in view, now that the Highway 99 tunneling machine has reached its “maintenance stop” just before going beneath the structure. The machine could stay stopped there for up to a month, says WSDOT in its announcement:
On Saturday, Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, reached a planned maintenance stop near Yesler Way, after successfully mining almost 300 feet during the past three weeks. According to STP, the TBM functioned within required operating parameters. The machine has now mined a total of 1,560 feet.
Seattle Tunnel Partners will spend up to one month inspecting the machine and performing planned maintenance. Scheduled work includes:
· Performing hyperbaric interventions
· Inspecting the cutterhead, main drive unit and screw conveyor
· Replacing cutting tools
· Extending the conveyor belt and the high voltage cable.
When STP has completed its maintenance work, crews will tunnel out of the maintenance stop and beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. WSDOT plans to close the viaduct for approximately two weeks to allow the machine to pass beneath the structure.
We will provide the public with advance notice of the closure, but the start date isn’t yet known. It will depend on the amount of work that must be completed while the machine is in the maintenance stop. STP won’t know the extent of the needed maintenance until inspections are complete, a process that could take approximately two weeks of the one-month maintenance period. Check www.99closure.org for additional details as the closure approaches.
More backstory here. Wondering how the closure will be handled? See our report (including video) on the briefing the West Seattle Transportation Coalition got last month from state and county reps; the WSTC was told WSDOT will do its best to give at least two weeks’ warning of the closure’s start.
Seen this stolen car? It was stolen around 4 am today in Highland Park, from 12th SW/SW Holden: “All green, bright green wheels on driver’s side, child’s car seat, iPhone, children’s clothes inside.” Plate number is AIC0067. Call 911 if you see it.
3:38 PM MONDAY: With some changes, the much-discussed Pronto bike-share buyout has just won Seattle City Council approval, 7-2, with West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold voting “no” (along with at-large Councilmember Tim Burgess). Herbold said, among other things, that she didn’t think it was wise for the city to buy equipment they wouldn’t likely want to keep. Among the amendments that passed was one by West Seattle-residing at-large Councilmember Lorena González, as noted and tweeted by Seattle Times reporter Daniel Beekman:
— Daniel Beekman (@DBeekman) March 14, 2016
So far, there is no definite plan to expand the bike-sharing program to the peninsula. We’ll add the summary and meeting video later when they’re available.
ADDED TUESDAY: Here’s the meeting video, as published on the Seattle Channel website today:
Whether you’re going to one of the local fundraisers this Saturday night – or just looking for a chance to go out and have fun – here’s a chance for your elementary-school-age kid(s) to have fun too: “Night Out with West Seattle High School Gymnastics.” From 5-11 pm Saturday at the school, the kids will learn basic gymnastic skills, play games, and have treats, and you’ll be helping the program pay off its new, required spring floor, which the families had to pay for themselves, and are sharing with Chief Sealth IHS. They’ve already raised two-thirds of the cost and have $8,000 left. Saturday’s event is $50 for one child, $65 for two in the same family. Please RSVP ASAP to Karen Lansdowne, who says, “High school sports is such a great way to teach kids leadership, social skills, and working within a team. It keeps them busy, off their phones, and off the streets.” E-mail her at email@example.com or call 206-227-6807 to sign up for Saturday.
The “rapid-load” pile test scheduled at Terminal 5 this afternoon has been rescheduled to tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15th), according to Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw:
In response to concerns we’ve heard, we are postponing today’s test.
One of the reasons for the last test being more noticeable may have been its location at the south end of Terminal 5. When we reschedule, it will use less fuel than the last test, with the amount of fuel being the same as what was used in previous tests. We will also use noise and vibration monitoring devices in the vicinity of 37th & Prescott.
The tests will take place tomorrow and Thursday, both at noon. These will be the last of the rapid load tests.
A video made public by the port last week shows, close-up, what these tests look and sound like.
Exactly two months from today, it’s the 12th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – the one day of the year that our area becomes the epicenter of person-to-person, in-person recycling – Saturday, May 14th, 9 am-3 pm.
If you’re new to our area, this is NOT one big garage/yard/etc. sale, but many sales of many sizes, in many places (usually including a couple of venues open to multiple sellers who just don’t have room wherever they live, or who only have a small amount of stuff to sell). Since 2008, we’ve coordinated it, including creating online and printable versions of the map, marketing and distributing it far and wide. This year, we’ll open registration on Monday, April 4th – three weeks from today – so check back here and at the official WSCGSD website when that day arrives, if you’re interested in participating!
Busy Monday already – and here are highlights of what’s scheduled for the rest of today/tonight:
EARLY DAYS’ NEW LOCATION: Today’s the second Monday, 10:30 am-noon, for this parenting-support group to meet at Nurturing Expressions (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. More info here. (4746 44th SW, Suite 201)
ANOTHER PORT TEST: Another “rapid-load” piling test is scheduled at Terminal 5 around 3 pm today, the port told us last week. See our report for a video clip showing exactly what happens during these tests.
COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: If you can spare some time in the late afternoon/early evening, it’s time to work in the orchard – stop by 4-6 pm today or find other opportunities via the info in our listing. North end of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)
GAME NIGHT WITH SHELTERBOX: 6:15 pm at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor), play games AND find out about ShelterBox, which “provides emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.” More here. (3727 California SW)
NO NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT … it’s been canceled, but community members are urged to attend this week’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, 7 pm Wednesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
BLUES AND MORE: 8 pm at Parliament Tavern, Rippin Chicken takes the stage. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
SEE OUR COMPLETE CALENDAR for even more – browse it here, any time.
(10:53 AM UPDATE: Highland Park Way and Morgan have both reopened, post-crashes)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:28 AM: Good morning! While Seattle City Light is still working on outages around the city, the map does not show any remaining in West Seattle that would seem to affect this morning’s commute – but please let us know if you discover otherwise (206-293-6302 text or voice, when you can use the phone safely/legally – from the passenger seat or after you get where you’re going) – thank you. Meantime, no incidents in the area, and for Eastside-bound commuters, yes, the 520 Bridge *did* reopen early this morning after wind-damage repairs.
6:42 AM: Just texted (thanks!) – the Delridge/Henderson signal is in flashing-red mode. (If you see a signal out, or road hazard, please report to SDOT at 206-684-ROAD, and then let us know.)
7:05 AM: Heavy rescue call for a crash at West Marginal/Highland Park Way. Avoid the hill. One tipster says it’s a multiple-car crash. We’re en route.
7:26 AM: It will be closed a while – serious enough that the special investigation team is being called out. Police are blocking the hill both ways. 8th southbound to Roxbury is jammed.
7:48 AM: Olson/Myers light is still flashing red and that’s making Roxbury backup worse.
7:54 AM: We finally made it to West Marginal/Highland Park Way. W. Marginal is open both ways. It’s the Highland Park Way hill that’s blocked off, and of course the turn to Highland Park.
SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold is here and just told our photographer that two cars are involved, each with one person inside, a 19-year-old woman in one, 21-year-old man in the other, and he has been taken to Harborview. Photo added – the crash scene is about 100 yards up the hill south/SW of Pioneer Industries, and debris is strewn across the roadway, so once the investigators are done, there will be a significant cleanup too.
8:08 AM: And for further verification that it will be closed a while:
Per crew on the scene, Highland Park Way SW just west of W Marginal Way SW will be closed for at least 2 hours while @SeattlePD investigates
— seattledot (@seattledot) March 14, 2016
8:23 AM: Bicycle riders and pedestrians are being allowed on the downhill HP Way sidewalk.
9:01 AM: New rollover crash reported – via scanner, 34th/Morgan, “vehicle hit a parked car and is flipped over on its top.”
9:16 AM: Morgan is blocked from just east of 35th SW to Lanham – we’ve added a photo of the flipped car, which is in the eastbound lane. The parked car the driver hit is on the westbound side of Morgan:
No major injuries so far as we can tell – a private ambulance is at the scene.
9:34 AM: Metro has sent an alert that Route 128 is routed off Orchard/Sylvan/Morgan between Delridge and 35th because of the aforementioned crash.
10:10 AM: Highland Park Way is reopening both ways, according to police discussion monitored via scanner – the post-crash cleanup is over.
10:53 AM: Metro has just sent the alert that it’s back to normal service on Morgan/Sylvan/Orchard, so that scene has cleared too.